chapter  9
15 Pages

Morality and the law: the case of Diogenes of Babylon

Cicero devotes Book III of De Offidis to an examination of the conflict-or (as he would have us think) apparent conflict-between the claims of morality (honestas) and the pursuit of advantage (utilitas). Much of the discussion is taken up with consideration of particular problem cases. It is in this context that the views of Diogenes of Babylon, head of the Stoic school in the midsecond century BC, are reported, first and at greater length at III.50-7, second and much more briefly and schematically in a summary selection of problem cases presented in Book VI of a work Latinised by Cicero as the De Offidis by Hecato of Rhodes, a pupil of Panaetius (III.91-2).1